Mommy bloggers are somewhat of a scary field of influencers—they appear to be perfect mothers on social media, but then they prioritize their image over their children. One such mother is Ruby Franke, who was known for her family YouTube channel, 8 Passengers. Now, she hosts ConneXions with Jodi Hildebrandt.
Some have called ConneXions a cult, although Jodi and Ruby say that their mission is to help people “successfully navigate life and relationships.” But they also call themselves the "moms of truth." Now, both Ruby and Jodi have been arrested. What happened and why were they arrested?
What happened to Ruby Franke? She left ‘8 Passengers’ and was recently arrested.
The voyeur inside of all of us can’t help but tune into problematic YouTube channels like 8 Passengers. But after Ruby told some *questionable* stories, subscribers began noticing potential patterns and signs of child abuse. Ruby and her husband, Kevin, have six children together. Their oldest, Shari, is now 20 years old and has since moved out. The youngest, Eve, is just 9 years old.
On Aug. 30, Ruby and Jodi were arrested by the Santa Clara-Ivins Public Safety agency and are currently in custody with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. They were each clocked for two counts of aggravated child abuse, intentionally or knowingly. While viewers had been pointing out Ruby’s signs of being an abuser for years, this is the first time law enforcement has gotten involved.
Not only did it get involved, but over 20 officers showed up to arrest them. That’s pretty rare for what is typically a Child Protective Services case and suggests that there’s lots of evidence stacked against Ruby. In fact, the event that led to her arrest was a child who climbed out of the window and went to the neighbors for help. The child also had duct tape, indicating they were being held hostage. Yes, the abuse was that severe.
Throughout the years, viewers have called Ruby out for potentially abusive behavior.
When Ruby was still vlogging through 8 Passengers, she told a story of how 6-year-old Eve forgot to pack up her lunch in the morning and was left without lunch for school. Instead of bringing Eve her lunch or even encouraging other students to share with her, Ruby wanted her 6-year-old to learn a lesson. She forced her daughter to starve through lunch.
In another instance, Ruby and Kevin took their son, Chad’s, room away from him as punishment for pranking his younger brother. Chad slept on a bean bag for seven months! They later said that Chad had the choice and preferred the bean bag, but at that point, parents should still encourage their teenage kids to sleep in their own beds.
In another video, Ruby talks about how she left her 3-year-old and 5-year-old unsupervised when she took a nap and then blamed them for leaving the floor sticky in the kitchen. All of this has led Ruby to leave 8 Passengers and pursue her new endeavor, ConneXions. In ConneXions, Ruby and Jodi team up to encourage parents to discipline their children and take control of their lives.
They also tell people to “live in TRUTH” and will punish their kids for not following that rule. When the arrest happened, Shari posted “Finally” to her Instagram story, proving that the allegations must have some truth to them. She also created a Google document to compile all video evidence of Ruby’s patterns of abuse.
The document shares an instance of Ruby saying, “Pain is meant to be a teacher. It’s your ally,” in reference to raising kids. She also often withholds food as a punishment, taking away breakfast when her kids don’t finish their chores or lunch if they don’t make and pack their own lunch. When her children didn’t “live in truth,” she even withheld Christmas presents and celebrations.
Whatever evidence law enforcement may have against Ruby and Jodi, it seems like with 20 officers and the feds involved, she has little chance of getting out of a tough sentence.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.